Cultures of Waste: Disease and Environment

Fall 2018
Hannah Markley
ENGL 1102

This course explores literary and cultural representations of bodily and industrial waste alongside wasting diseases to explore how the nineteenth century produced ideas about waste that continue to influence contemporary work in the fields of epidemiology, civil engineering, public health, environmental science, and medicine. Students will use representations of waste in the nineteenth century to hone communications skills such as the use and understanding of rhetorical concepts, the development of writing processes, and the creation of multimodal projects in sustained collaboration with  classmates. The final project for this course will explore how contemporary social issues such as the opioid epidemic, the Flint, Michigan water crisis, or the AIDs epidemic continue to be influenced by nineteenth century cultures of waste. This course was designed in collaboration with Chemical Engineering Professor.Elsa Riechmanis and considers how the relationships among industry, community, health, and environment might inform choices made by civil and chemical engineers, from the nineteenth century to today. 

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